Handmade gifts - framed poetry

Handmade Christmas gift idea – framed poetry

Handmade gifts - framed poetry

Framed poetry can be the perfect handmade Christmas gift for those wonderful people in your life that you want to make something truly personal and individualised.

Our youngest child finishes primary school this week and for a number of years through out his schooling he has had the same teacher. He has been so lucky to have her and has learnt so much from her. The stand out for me isn’t just how much he has learned, but it is how he has learnt it.

His teacher has used art, poetry, music and classical literature to teach key concepts and also to expand their knowledge of beauty and wonder. In his graduation speech last night he said that he has been taught to be “a public speaker, a writer, an artist and a mathematician.” What a gift she has given these children!

A number of weeks ago I set the youngest a challenge to find out his teacher’s favourite poet. It took him a couple of days, but he came home and let me know it was W.B. Yeats. Last year his class had learnt The Lake Isle of Innisfree, most of which the youngest can still remember so he said he would like to choose that poem and have it framed for her.

Now you could type the poem up and print it yourself on beautiful paper, but I didn’t think I could do this poem justice, so I searched Etsy and found someone who was also a fan of W.B. Yeats and bought a beautiful print from them.

framed poetry W.B. Yeats The Lake Isle of Innisfree

The youngest and I then searched for a frame for the poem and he chose one he thought his teacher would like. Today the framed poetry went to school with him on his second last day of primary school with a beautifully written card to thank his teacher for the educational gifts she has given him.

framed poetry W.B. Yeats The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Cento – framed poetry

I came across this framed poetry idea in the New York Times. A cento is a poem written using borrowed lines. Cento is a Latin word, meaning “patchwork.” Each line in the cento poem is taken from one source and then the lines are put together weaving them into a patchwork creating a poem.

materials for Cento - framed poetry

To make a cento framed poetry you will need:

  • A source for your lines – I chose a recent issue of Breathe magazine
  • Good quality paper stock
  • A frame
magazine cuttings organised

I went through the magazine and cut out sentences and blocks of text that appealed to me. As you are using the words of others, credit needs to be given. As I cut out a section, I would write in my notebook the page number of the words and the author’s name. I set the words out on the table in relevant groupings.

poem drafts

It was then a matter of drafting a poem and playing with it until I was happy with the result. I actually really loved doing this and made a second one after I completed the first.

crediting magazine writers

I then typed up the credits for the lines and printed them out. I formatted each line of the credits in a different font so it would fit in with the style of the different fonts in the poem. It is now framed and ready to go!

Cento - framed poetry

(If you click on the image you will be able to click on a full size image and zoom in to see the words more clearly.)

Resources for framed Cento poems

Have you given the gift of framed poetry before?

This post is part of my 2020 Christmas series. Click here to find other posts in the series.